Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail (S-BM): Yellow Blaze
Bushwacks and unmarked trails
Total Time: 1:50 hr
Estimated Distance: 3.65 Miles
This hike involved several bushwacks and unmarked trails, but overall is a very good and highly recommended hike. I parked on Gate Hill Road by the S-BM trailhead, and headed north up toward Irish Mountain where the Irish Potato sits. The Irish Potato is a very large rock just sitting above the ground on the top of the mountain. It is too large to climb on top of.
From the Irish Potato continued along the S-BM and skirted along the Upper Pound Swamp, and then when the S-BM turns to descend Pound Swamp Mountain, I veered off on a bushwack towards the summit of this mountain. There is no trail up this mountain, so the only way to get to the top is by bushwack. At the very top sits a small rock which can be climbed upon, though there isn't really a good viewpoint. I suppose that had I traveled further along the mountain towards the northeast I would hit a good viewpoint of the notch where the Palisades Parkway travels through, though I will leave that hike for another time.
From the summit bushwacked down the steep side straight towards the dam of the Upper Pound Swamp. Though this is called a swamp it is really a pond or small lake. It is interesting in that it is naturally dammed by beavers, as is evidenced by the beaver-chopped trees around its edges and the beautiful natural beaver dam. I find this to be one of the most beautiful lakes within the Harriman confines.
From the Upper Pound Swamp, continued along the unmarked trail, which used to be some sort of road, up the hill towards the ruin. I veered slightly off the path the view the ruin, which I have no idea what it is or when it had functioned. (If anyone has any knowledge on this ruin, please feel free to comment. All that is listed in the Trail Conference maps is "ruin".) Continued down the old road path until Gate Hill Drive, and then walked along the side of the road all the way back to the trailhead. There is a nice cascade along the southern side of the road where the Minisceongo Creek drops through the escarpment.
|Map of the Route - Harriman State Park|
|The Irish Potato atop Irish Mountain|
|Rock at the summit of Pound Swamp Mountain|
|Near Pound Swamp Mountain before descending the bushwack|
to the Upper Pound Swamp.
|Nice picture of the Upper Pound Swamp|
As you can see, it looks more like a small lake then a swamp.
|Shoreline of the upper Pound Swamp with trees being gnawed by beavers|
|The Natural Beaver Dam that forms |
the Upper Pound Swamp.
I crossed along this dam.
|Another view of the Upper Pound Swamp and Beaver Dam|
|The Ruin Along the Unmarked Road.|
Its sits atop the hill.
|Doorway arch at the ruin.|
|Minisceongo CreekWaterfall Cascade.|